The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act – which we all know as “OSHA” – mandates that all employers provide a workplace that is free from hazards that are likely to cause death or serious physical harm. Based on this general OSHA duty, many employers have long maintained policies that broadly prohibit workplace violence. Recent events in San Bernardino and elsewhere, however, have caused employers to revisit these policies, specifically with regard to the possession of firearms in the workplace.
While there is no federal statute or regulation that limits a private employer’s ability to restrict, or even completely prohibit, the possession of firearms or other weapons in its facilities or on its properties, many states have enacted laws that do impose restrictions. If you have, or are considering, a workplace violence prevention policy, check it for the following.